Beaten by another injury-plagued season, an ailing national economy and a dry free-agency market not suited to matching his asking price, he had little choice but to reverse course.
No free agency, then, this summer.
No more money.
No doing what he had insisted he would.
"We hope," O'Connor said Tuesday night, "that he can stay injury-free and play like he did in 2007-08."
Boozer — who now will be unrestricted in 2010, unless he agrees to an extension with a team to which he's traded — endured a 2008-09 season interrupted for him by a quadriceps strain and subsequent knee surgery.
He's missed about one-third of his games during his five seasons in Utah due to injury, including 31 in 2004-05, 49 in 2005-06 and 45 in '08-09.
But Boozer did play 81 of 82 regular-season games in '07-08, when he averaged 10.4 rebounds and a career-high 21.1 points per game.
The money-driven decision could prove quite costly to the Jazz, as their projected payroll for next season — not including money for backup power forward/restricted free agent Paul Millsap and a required 13th player — has been pushed by Boozer's opt-in to a way-over-the-cap $73,907,990.
That also puts the Jazz a pinch over the NBA's projected payroll luxury tax threshold for next season, and — if they do retain Millsap, which evidently continues to be the plan — it could mean they'd be looking at paying more than $13 million in tax penalties.
The Jazz, though, can save some money by trading Boozer and taking back a player or players whose salaries for next season total just 75 percent of his.
It's something that could happen sooner rather than later, according to those in-the-know.
Boozer had been seeking a deal starting at about $14 million in the coming season, but his only obvious suitor with both interest and spending money — Detroit — evidently was not willing to start him at much, if any, more than $12 million.
And that prompted Boozer's camp to swallow pride, change plans and remain in Utah.
"It had nothing to do with love for Salt Lake City, that's for sure," ESPN The Magazine's Chris Broussard told ESPNews.
Career (432 games): 16.8 ppg10.0 rpg53.6 FG%
2008-09 (37 games): 16.2 ppg10.4 rpg49.0 FG%
Career (531 games): 13.9 ppg7.2 rpg46.1 FG%
2008-09 (72 games): 17.0 ppg7.7 rpg48.5 FG%
- Hayward looking like Captain America early in...
- Gary Crowton resigns as SUU offensive...
- Morning links: 'Big 12' cartoon features BYU,...
- What you may have missed: UConn fan's pleas...
- Ansah, Wagner or Weddle: Which local had the...
- BYU's defense, among nation's leaders in...
- ESPN's Brett McMurphy: 'I actually should...
- Utah Utes video: Players happy with new turf...
- College football: Utes climb to No. 5... 56
- Morning links: Utes in the playoff?;... 43
- ESPN's College GameDay is coming to... 34
- Morning links: 'Big 12' cartoon... 34
- After win, BYU looking to improve, get... 26
- BYU overcomes mistakes, downs UConn,... 23
- Dick Harmon: Mangum uses chunk yardage... 22
- Morning links: Kyle Whittingham 'doing... 20